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So, apparently Israel's president Netanyahu recently spoke in Congress about how he wants Obama's nuclear talks with Iran to stop. Here's the video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4501507/netanyahu-warns-congress-iran The speech has been boycotted by about 60 Democrats, for various reasons, the most common reason being that Netanyahu was invited by congressional Republicans in order to torpedo the President's foreign policy. The second reason is that people suspect that Netanyahu merely wanted to do this to strengthen his image at home, in advance of the Israeli legislative elections due in two weeks. My opinion is that since the effort to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear technology has already failed, he's doing this in advance in order to save face later and be able to say that he did what he could when this fact sinks in. It's interesting that Netanyahu states no alternative to the talks. Iran has already achieved civilian nuclear power, and constructed enrichment facilities. They have had a research reactor (since 1967, supplied by the US), one (small) operational heavy water reactor, one light water reactor on the commercial grid, with two more light water and one heavy water reactor planned. They have been fully assisted by Russia in starting up their light water reactor. So the Republicans who say "Their nuclear program must be stopped" (Jeb Bush) and "Obama Admin's negotiations w/ Iran have been a failure. We must stand united with Israel to prevent a nuclear Iran!" (Ted Cruz) are being extremely insincere, since it's not about "stopping" some future leap of technology but dismantling existing, operational reactors and enrichment facilities which have been operational since 2010. There is fundamentally speaking no alternative to talks, there is nothing short of war at this point which could possibly stop the Iranian nuclear programme. The alternative the Republicans speak of might be to just wait, doing nothing, but that clearly won't prevent Iran from anything, as we've seen - there's no point in keeping sanctions on for nothing (or is that exactly what the Republicans think?). Meanwhile, both the Israeli Mossad and CIA are clear on the point that there is nothing which points towards there being a military Iranian nuclear programme. Now, let's not confuse that with the possibility of Iran starting a military nuclear weapons programme in the future. With what we know they have now, Iran might have a rudimentary nuclear bomb (without delivery system) within one year. Clearly the answer is a deal which lets the IAEA inspect what they are doing. So let's keep track of, and discuss, what will come out of this. And how would things have looked with a Republican president? Since Iran has been getting nuclear weapons next year every year since the 1990s, we can expect this to be a relevant question also after 2016.
I've tried to keep this as objective as possible in a way that will best inform the voters! Test yourself by not checking the answer until you've come to a decision about the question. If you have any questions about my sources, let me know what in particular and I will cite. Enjoy! 1. The context of Romney's “47%...” remark was (in his words): a: Will support him in the election because they disagree with Obama's entitlement programs as well as government handouts. b: Are at risk of loosing their jobs because of Obama's failed policies. c: Will vote for Obama no matter what because they don't pay income taxes feel entitled to food, housing, and healthcare. d: Will vote for Obama because they antagonize the rich, Romney being among them. 2. The context of Obama's “You didn't build that” remake was (his words): a: That successful business owners did not accomplish their feats alone, and that many people contributed to the building of roads and businesses. B: That the infrastructure of the US was created by the working class, not the rich. C: That the government is more responsible for the rise of successful businesses than the ambition of US citizens. D: That God is the one who enable all of us to come together as a country and build successful businesses and infrastructure. 3. One of the things Romney criticized Obama for supporting a cut on is: a: Healthcare b: Defense c: Education d: Corporate taxes 4. Obama has not raised taxes: *True *False 5. Social mandates and programs like income tax and redistribution of wealth have swollen in the last 30 years: *True *False 6. Mitt Romney returned his 2011 tax returns with a tax rate at 15%: *True *False 7. Obama's statement “Taxes are lower on families than they've been probably in the last 50 years” *True *False 8. Obama has stated that he plans to reinstate the federal Assault Weapons Ban, which outlaws rifles and shotguns with 'military-style aesthetics' *True *False 9. Romney supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of a mother is in danger: *true *false 10. Which of the following is most key to defining socialism? A. Universally available programs such as healthcare and food stamps b. Limits on an individual’s potential income and bans on public expression of religion. c. Redistribution of wealth by means of income tax and welfare. D. Government control of means of production and private property. 11. US national debt is at: a: 6 trillion b: 10 trillion c: 16 trillion d: 20 trillion 12. Under the affordable healthcare act (aka, Obamacare), you are required to switch to a government-drafted healthcare plan: *true *false 13. Romney's statement about the president advocating redistribution of wealth is *true *false 14. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney enacted a healthcare act essentially the same as the affordable healthcare act. *true *false 15. Which presidential candidate supported the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, which included an infamous passage which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens without due process by the military if they deem the circumstances appropriate? a. Obama b. Romney c. both d. neither 16. The NRA's claim that even though there are 436,000 gun crimes a year, there are 2.5 instances of an armed citizens preventing violent crimes is... *true *false 17. [DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to invalidate anybody's faith or beliefs, I simply cite objective scientific research.] At what point in pregnancy does the zygote/fetus show signs of early consciousness and susceptibility to pain? a. 2 months b. 4 months c. 6 months d. 8 months 18. Obama repealed the patriot act and the Bush tax cuts: *true *false 19. Obama does not officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: * true * false 20. Obama has no clearly defined date for full withdrawal from Afghanistan *true *false ANSWERS